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Kiwi celebrities on surviving Christmas

For NEXT’s December issue, we talked to a number of high-profile Kiwis about how they survive Christmas stress and get into the festive spirit. Here are our quickfire Christmas questions…

Pippa Wetzell
Favourite Christmas movie:
Love, Actually.
Christmas song you always sing along to:
Winter Wonderland. The kids love Little Drummer Boy because they think it says ‘Parappa bum bum.’ So they call it ‘Ruppa bum bum’ and get the giggles.
Favourite festive beverage:
Bubbles. Maybe with some orange juice in the morning, if I’m not driving.
Make your own Christmas gifts, or buy them:
A bit of both. My girlfriends and I were just saying today we’d like to do some research, make little cookie jars. At this time of year, all sorts of great ideas. Come December? Less so.
Christmas pudding or Pavlova:
My grandmother has always made the money pudding. She would make a couple of versions – one without money for the adults, one with money for the kids. And all through my childhood, I can’t remember approaching it any other way, other than that it got put in front of you, and you were all in – hands and everything – to get the money. So when we put it in front of our kids, and they reached for their spoons, all the adults were saying “Dig! Use your hands!!”
Denise L’Estrange Corbet
Favourite Christmas movie:
I don't really have a favourite Christmas movie per se, but am happy to watch re-runs of movies that are light and romantic. I have probably watch the BBC's Pride & Prejudice about a million times, and never tire of it.
Christmas pet peeve:
Pet peeve is when people do not really think about what you would like, but just buy gifts as they think "that will do", as the recipient usually takes them straight to a charity shop.
Christmas song you always sing along to:
I’ve never sung along to anything in my life, and never clap on demand at concerts, or do nanna dancing (shifting from one leg to the other, with weird arm movements) at weddings, but the song that immediately transports me back to Xmas is Wizzard's "I wish it could be xmas everyday", I am immediately taken back to London, and one year, as a teenager, friends and I went back to a friend’s house after nightclubbing and threw snowballs in freshly fallen, knee-high snow in their garden at 2.00am, it was just magical, we laughed and were falling all over the place, and were singing this song.
Favourite festive drink:
Pol Roger 2008 Champagne
Favourite festive meal:
Roast potatoes, (crispy on outside, fluffy inside), Brussel sprouts, carrots, nutmeat, vegetarian stuffing with walnuts and vegetarian gravy, followed by traditional steamed xmas pudding with brandy, which is lit, then smothered in whipped cream and brandy butter. Then lie on the couch for a week!
Paula Bennett
Favourite Christmas movie:
Love, Actually. Totally.
Christmas song you always sing along to:
Love them all, love a bit of Snoopy’s Christmas of course. Boney M, Rod Stewart.
Traditional meal or BBQ:
Beach or backyard:
We do backyard
Pavlova or Christmas trifle:
Favourite festive beverage:
I make it up; we call it snapper juice because we’re a king fishing family. Pureed strawberries soaked in Cointreau, lemon juice, little bit of icing sugar, and leave that overnight then drink with champagne. It’s delicious.
Words by: Emma Clifton

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